Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva received a Therapeutic Use Exemption for Testosterone Replacement Therapy prior to his fight for the ages with Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 33 on Dec. 7 in Brisbane, Australia. However, a fighter with a TUE must still maintain testosterone levels within normal levels, and Tuesday it was reported that Silva failed to do so.
In response, "Bigfoot" received a nine month suspension, lost his $50,000 “Fight of the Night” performance bonus which will now go to Hunt, and his record for the fight will be changed to a No Contest. Hunt's record will remain a draw.
Silva says his TRT was supervised by Dr. Marcio Tannure, the medical director of the Brazilian athletic commission - Comissao Atletica Brasileira de MMA (CABMMA). Further, Silva has he did everything precisely as directed, and that he plans to sue.
Silva provided details in an interview with MMAFighting's Guilherme Cruz.
"I just did what they told me to do," said Silva. "I’d never do something different that what the doctor told me to. I looked for a doctor with a good reputation, and he’s the UFC’s doctor in Brazil. I knew I’d be tested before and after the fight. Unfortunately, now I have to find the legal ways to overturn this situation or at least prove I’m not guilty."
"I took a shot at the same day he sent me that e-mail, and he asked me if I had another one to take with me to Australia, to take on fight week. He authorized everything. I did exactly as I was informed to do.
"You go get help with a doctor, you do the right thing, and now this story tarnishes my professional career. It tarnishes the great fight I did with Mark Hunt, and gave me a huge financial loss. The doctor knows that I cut weight, he knows how the body of a MMA fighter reacts. He should know at what level I would be with one shot. I felt like a lab rat. I did everything I was told to do and now I’m the cheater."
"I’ll take the exact dosage I took, the exact timetable, and will get a doctor here in the U.S. and a doctor in Brazil to show to the fans that this is horrible for my career and the sport. I want to prove that it was not my fault. When I have all the exams from both doctors, I want to sue for the moral and financial prejudice that he has caused me."
"If (the UFC) allow me to, I want to continue (using TRT), but now with a doctor that won’t give me any problems. I want to continue the treatment because it’s good for my personal life and my career as well. If you know what acromegaly is, you know what I have. My hormonal levels are not normal, my testosterone is too low, and I want to be on normal levels.
"I thought about a thousand things since this all happened. I considered leaving the sport because of these unfair things, but I don’t give up that easily. I have to show that it was not my fault."
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